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Oral history in audio guides

In Museums on September 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

Yesterday I spoke at a seminar at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery about the use of oral history in museums and galleries. The day-long event was attended by staff from various museums who are thinking about using oral history in new and interesting ways in their future exhibitions.

I have a presentation about my experiences of using oral history in writing and researching content for audio-guides, which seemed to go down well. I was talking about getting the balance right between narration, actor voices, interview material and archival content in an audio-guide production. The rest of the day was a mixture of practical examples of using oral history and advice on how best to manage such projects.

The other presenters were:
Francis Nielsen from Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage speaking about using Brirish Sign Language histories in museums

Emily Fuggle from the Imperial War Museum speaking about recorded video testimony in The Holocaust Exhibition (my former stomping ground)

Rupert Mitchell – a freelance interactive designer – showing us exciting animations which bring oral history to life

Richard Elms from Herbert Media, Coventry, speaking about the work of the new media unit and the practicalities of recording material for an archive or gallery installation

Kate Chatfield from the People’s History Museum, Manchester, speaking about the sound interactives using oral history that have been installed in their redeveloped museum.

Big thanks to BMAG for compiling the programme and for getting people together for a day.

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